round nose vs. flat nose solids

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by JamieD, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    I am looking for solids for my trip this summer. I am leaning towards barnes as I plan to also shoot tsx. I thought that flat nose would be better but I see that barnes also offers round nose solids. I was wondering if one is better than the other and why. any input would be helpful.
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Havent used either one but you will find a thread on here where we talked about feed troubles with the flat nose, its why Barnes started making a round nose to alleviate those issues. The flat nose type shoot well im .404 but jam coming off the left rail.
  3. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    If your rifle will feed the flat nose solids use them. They will out penetrate the round nose. A group of shooters has been testing bullets for over a year and half in different medias and in the field. Our findings have been a proper flat nose with a meplat this is approximately 65% of bullet diameter seems to work best.

    I will never go in to the field without Flat Nose solids for buffalo or elephant.

    North Forks, Barnes, Woodleigh Hydros, and Cutting Edge BBWs all have worked extremely well.

    These are some of the results from the tests in my 470.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  4. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    + 1 for Flat Nosed Solids.

    Yes, they are an issue getting them to feed in some rifles, but if they do then go for it.

    As Mike has stated above not only do they out-penetrate, but in my opinion, also deliver better energy transfer.
    At least that is my experience with RN v's FN's.

    Just make sure your going to get reliable feeding from your particular rifle before venturing to the feild.
  5. michael458

    michael458 New Member

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    In performance there is no comparison between RN and FN solids. I will go a step beyond what both Paul and Mike have said, If your rifle won't feed a flat nose solid of your choice, go to the gunsmith, have it fixed to where it does feed without issues. You want that performance of the Flat Nose Solid.

    As Mike has stated and been heavy involved in much of the test work we have been doing for well over a year on this matter. We have discovered many factors and reasons for this superior performance. And proven without doubt what will work and what will not work.

    The Barnes decision is a knee jerk reaction, and a decision that is being made above the folks that work with, and design the bullets. It is not based on performance at all, and in the end will come back to haunt Barnes, as they are giving up a great market share. Every major manufacturer of bullets now has a flat nose solid of sorts, and all recognize the performance.

    You don't settle for less performance because your rifle won't feed a particular bullet. You fix the rifle so you get that performance.

    Michael
  6. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    I spoke with Barnes. Order directly from them and they will make the flat nosed solid that you want.
  7. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Jamie,

    What caliber are you shooting?
  8. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    Mike

    I have been working with a 375 RUM and the flat noses feed fine in this rifle. I am building a 416 Rigby and was going to order bullets for this gun is when I found barnes also makes round noses.

    Due to popular demand I will be ordering flat noses for the 416 as well.

    Thanks for the advice from everyone it is easy to make a decision when everyone agrees.
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    But on the other hand... if round nose solids are so much worse than the latest and greatest flat nose, troublesome feeders, how did all those buffalo and elephant die before they came along?
  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Looking at the data that Mike collected while the straight line penetration dropped to 21-22" which is still significantly deep, the overall penetration was still 36-43". That still accounts for a lot of damage. It's a little difficult to take that table and try and apply it to the overall path of the bullet through say a buffalo. But hit in the heart/lung area and traveling at least 21" straight line, then starting to veer off, it's still going to put a hurt on the vitals.

    That said, if one is using the solid on a buffalo in an attempt to make a good "Texas heart shot", it would appear the flat noses are the way to go.

    In regards to brain shot on an elephant, I think it might depend on whether it was a frontal or side shot as to whether it would make a difference or not.
  11. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I never said round nose solids will not work. They have been around for years. I have wondered how many elephants have been lost due to RN solids veering. Maybe none but more than likely far more than people realize or want to admit.

    Another benefit is lower pressures generated with proper flat nose solids with driving bands. Multiple strain test have been conducted and flat nose monolithic solids with driving bands are always better.

    The bullet does all of the work. Why not use a machined monolithic solid with a flat nose that is proven to be better.
  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    After reading this thread again, there was something I didn't notice the first time. Did anyone else notice that the penetration distance appeared to be unaffected by the impact velocity? The slowest rounds were running about 400fps slower than the fastest, I would have expected the faster rounds to travel quite a bit further. On the flat noses it seemed to be the difference in stopping at that back versus lodging into the wood, but that is negligible to me.
  13. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    If Stigand's "Hunting the Elephant in Africa" is any indication, they died slowly after a remarkably large number of shots and often somewhere unknown to the hunter.

    Your point is a good one, however. I ask myself the same question when I see pretty much any cartridge invented since 1950: what problem is this solving?

    If the flat-nosed solids are viewed as an incremental improvement over round-nosed solids, they can be looked upon favorably. The problem comes when they are so hyped that people start to think that they have to use them, even to the point of losing feeding reliability. A round nose that comes out the barrel at a few thousand feet per second beats a flat nose jammed in the magazine every time.
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well to the others point, of course the rifle would have to be reliable regardless the bullet, thats a given. I just find myself reluctant to jump on the latest and greatest bandwagons like everything new is the best thing since sliced bread. When I discovered that my CZ .404 would not reliably feed the BBS bullet, the first thing I thought was, "Who cares"? There are lots of good round nose solids out there that are quite dependable and almost any bullet made today is better than what was available 150 years ago. In 1990 Botswana, I took with one Hornady 300 gr round nose solid out of my .375 a big bodied buffalo at 140 paced yards. It dropped as if struck by lightning, a neck/shoulder shot. Stone dead by time we walked up to it with no delay. I would say thats pretty good evidence of a good bullet and no flat nose.
  15. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Phil,

    Velocity and its relation to penetration with solids is always an interesting subject.

    Some old timers felt better penetration was realized at lower velocities. I believe this was borne from shooting inferior solids that would mushroom or bend at higher velocities.

    My initial velocity tests were suprising. I was expecting a big difference in penetration. As you noted there was very little.

    Now I am going to steal a quote from a buddy from another forum

    A thought about boards (linear function resistance, LFR) mixed in with waterbuckets, wetpack, or SIM-TEST (exponential function resistance, EFR) as regards to response to velocity of the penetrating bullet and loss of resolving power of the test medium: LFR on the entrance end of the SimBA (simulated buffalo apparatus) contrbutes little to stopping the bullet, relative to its effectiveness in halting the bullet in the terminal/low velocity end of the SimBA. EFR provides much more resistance on the high velocity end, and less on the terminal end, thus allowing better resolution of difference in penetration, rather than having the LFR stop two close competitors at the same apparent distance, "hitting the wall." Rip


    I came back and changed the test to place more resistance at higher velocity (front of the wetpack) and the results were more of what I expected.

    Bear in mind newspaper, wood, water, cinder blocks, etc are consistent. We use them to compare different bullets in the same media. Animals are very inconsistent; bone, muscle, tendons, meat, elephant skull, etc etc. I prefer to design tests to take in the worse case for the bullets.

    I find these things fascinating. It gives me something to do besides shooting and hunting while planning my next safari. As far as feeding problems my go to big gun is a double and it regulates fine with the North Forks and BBWs. My 375 CZ 550 was reworked by AHR and it feeds everything flawlessly. They all receive a severe workout months prior to leaving for Africa.


    These are the results from the test with the higher resistance in the front of the wetpack. Velocity wins out!



    Caliber: 470 Nitro Express
    Rifle: Krieghoff Double
    Twist Rate: 1 in 18.9 Confirmed by Krieghoff
    Brass: Jamison
    Primer: Remington 9 1/2M
    Powder: Reloder 15 for standard velocity load (approximately 2100 fps)
    AA 5744 for reduced loads (approximately 1650 FPS)

    The test box is fabricated from 2 by 6 pine boards and is 72” long.
    Test media consisted of ¼” luan, 12” of saturated newspaper, 2 by 6 treated pine (shooting through the 1 5”8” thickness), an approximate 1 ¼” void and then a series of twelve pieces of ¾” plywood with ten saturated newspapers 20 pages each between each piece of plywood (plywood, newspaper, plywood, newspaper etc) and approximately 33” of saturated newspaper to fill the box. Great care was taken to make certain the newspaper was thoroughly soaked in a tub prior to placing in the test bed.
    After placing the paper in the test bed excess water was permitted to drain for 30 minutes.
    The bullet entered the box at 32 feet from the muzzle.

    Bullets tested:
    North Fork 500 Grain solid
    Bullet Length: 1.414”
    Bullet Meplat: .335” or 70.67% of diameter

    Test consisted of firing consisted of firing two North Fork bullets in the test media at standard Nitro velocity and two North Fork bullets at reduced velocity.

    Reduced Velocity:
    Average impact velocity of the was 1672. The first round stopped in the 11th piece of plywood. Total penetration was approximately 38”. The second round stopped between the 11th and 12th piece of plywood. Total penetration was approximately 39”.

    The two bullets fired at standard Nitro velocities penetrated through all of the plywood and approximately 21” more than the lower velocity rounds for a total of 60".

    Penetration was usual for the North Fork bullets, perfectly straight.



    [​IMG]

    The picture above is the first piece of plywood the bullets penetrated. Note the location of the holes.


    [​IMG]

    The picture above is the 11th piece of plywood the bullets penetrated. Note the location of the holes as they relate to the first picture.

    [​IMG]

    This is where the standard Nitro velocity rounds stopped. You can barely see the bullet in the top hole above the very visible bullet. Again note the location of the holes after traveling through another 21” of wet newspaper.

    Attached Files:

  16. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Very interesting for this engineer with no experience shooting solids. Do you have any pictures of the put together box? I'm thinking this might be a fun project for me with my boys and using my .375 instead.
  17. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Phil,

    Used treated 2 by 6s for most of the construction.

    [​IMG]

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